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INS and Superpowered Refugees

mlmiimlmii Posts: 111 Arc User
edited January 2014 in Champions Pen and Paper RPG
Perhaps a silly question, but what types of regulations would a super powered refugee seeking a life in the United States find? Who does the interviewing, INS, UNTIL, or someone else? (And how deep does the interview go, mindreading, truth serums, ect?)

The hero in question hails from an alternate timeline that she "kind of" accidentally imploded in a "weapons grade teleportation" test for the city-state she held allegiance to. She is loath to admit it but she was considered a war criminal in the more enlightened portions of her solar system due to her practical applications of "magi-tek" in her inventions (Think a vague comic book combination of temporal/dimensional/magical energy.), up to and including the first trial phases of infusing living beings with these powers, mostly condemned prisoners so no-one cared when the results got "messy".

Before the "accident" she didn't have any real inherent superpowers, but the energies of an entire collapsing timeline succeeded where her prior experiments had failed in infusing an untold and incalculable amount (perhaps even infinite) of "magi-teck" energies into her being. It also threw her across the multiverse into a world that was close to CO's timeline. Things "didn't work out" for her there and she was able to refine her experiment and fled to CO's timeline, this time without destroying an entire universe.

The energies sustain her existence in a more-or-less unchanging state and over time she has been able to create and implant energy matrices (She HATES it when people call them spells.) into her "subspace shadow" (Mystics simply wonder why she refuses to call it her soul.) to channel various effects which she then channels through pseudo technological inventions into the world at large. (She doesn't actually NEED her D-Armor tech to use her inherent powers but it makes them easier for her to control.) She also tends to tinker and invent various gizmos to make her life easier.

I suppose she could offer some theoretical and semi-stable dimensional "toys" in order to buy her way into citizenship but really isn?t interested in setting up shop in a third timeline after having learnt her lesson in the first two. (Besides, with the notable exception of her "doomsday experiment" she probably couldn't give a government in the CO world any technologies that they didn't already have the equivalent of from other super tinkers.) All she really wants to do right now is to atone for the unatonable, the fact that she probably has several eternities to do it is of little comfort to her.
Post edited by mlmii on

Comments

  • meedacthunistmeedacthunist Posts: 2,961 Arc User1
    edited January 2014
    Superhuman registration in US just falls under PRIMUS. Technically she's just an alien, she has to register with ASPRA and obey law.
    It has to be told that full citizenship in CU is possible only for humans and ex-human supers (exluding undead). Others can't have citizenship (their situaction is more like permanent immigrants).
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    While registration of superhumans in the United States, as per the American Superhuman and Paranormal Registration Act (ASPRA), is administered by PRIMUS, I don't think they would be the right agency to request asylum through. PRIMUS is just a law-enforcement organization, an arm of the Department of Justice. I think it more likely that the issue would be referred to DOSPA. According to Champions Universe p. 41, the Department of Superhuman and Paranormal Affairs is a Cabinet-level agency with jurisdiction over all superhuman- or paranormal-related matters. DOSPA coordinates all other American agencies' activities in those areas, and all government-associated superhumans ultimately answer to it, even if they work for other agencies.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    It has to be told that full citizenship in CU is possible only for humans and ex-human supers (exluding undead). Others can't have citizenship (their situaction is more like permanent immigrants).

    It's a little more complicated than that. The situation seems to be subject to exceptions and varies from country to country. Here's one relevant passage from Champions Universe p. 51: "A number of Supreme Court rulings have stated that the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantees of due process and equal protection do not apply to sentient aliens, extradimensional entities, artificial intelligences, and the undead, because they are not "persons" under the law. On the other hand, they do apply to mutants, mutates, clones, and genetic constructs based on human stock. Congress has, however, passed laws granting at least limited rights to all "independent, freewilled, sentient entities" in American territory."

    Then there's the case of Dr. Silverback, the super-scientist hero who's a gorilla mutated to near-superhuman intelligence by the infamous Dr. Phillippe Moreau. This is an excerpt from his history in CU p. 178: "Eventually Silverback applied to the British government for official citizenship. With the assistance of the famous lawyer St. John Simons and the support of Morrison, Cambridge Biochem, and the New Knights, Silverback won a landmark case establishing himself as legally equal to a human being and a naturalized citizen of the British Empire. This precedent has become a landmark in superhuman law, cited over and over again in cases involving the legal status of robots, aliens, and the undead."
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    mlmii wrote: »
    Perhaps a silly question, but what types of regulations would a super powered refugee seeking a life in the United States find? Who does the interviewing, INS, UNTIL, or someone else? (And how deep does the interview go, mindreading, truth serums, ect?)

    According to the description of American law relating to superhumans, in the Stronghold sourcebook, the Supreme Court has ruled that telepathic searches of someone's mind are not per se unconstitutional violations of his rights. Individual states have their own laws regarding the admissibility of telepathic evidence in court; but of course that wouldn't apply to the federal government dealing with a non-citizen. The US government almost certainly has telepaths it can call on to probe someone's mind if it considers that justified.
  • mlmiimlmii Posts: 111 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    Thanks for the information. So, if the character's first entry into CU's timeline was the Qular invasion (per the tutorial), in addition to the reconstruction scenes we are shown, Defender would have probably gotten her in touch with a Primus caseworker in order to help her get her paperwork in order. Primus in turn would register her powers and then refer her case to DOSPA when she requests the rights of allegiance. (At first the concept of an actual nation would be alien to her, she would be under the impression that she was pledging to MC and not the USA.)

    If her DOSPA caseworker happened to be telepathic then it would be perfectly legal and perhaps even unofficially encouraged for said caseworker to routinely include telepathic impressions and information into her case files.

    Since I don't really get the impression that the American government is bias against supers (if anything super law seems to be fairly relaxed as long as you aren't harming innocents on purpose) being born in another dimension might ultimately prevent her from becoming a citizen but that being issued a green card and being allowed to stay is a relatively routine affair.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    That all sounds like a quite reasonable scenario. :smile:
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    The legal notes in the PnP books provide guidelines for GMs/players wanting to deal with the system. Steve Long being a lawyer, it's understandable he'd include that. :wink: But some areas are left deliberately vague, because Steve also didn't want folks feeling constrained by regulations that interfere with their fun. He's always the first one to recommend changing or ignoring anything in the background that works against the kind of game you want to play.

    mlmii's scenario isn't specifically covered in the books, but AFAICT it doesn't violate their letter or spirit, so if it works for him/her that's what matters most. OTOH I could also reasonably see that unfortunate universe-destroying detail in the character's past raising a lot of red flags in today's security-conscious America; or the character finding any telepathic probe an unacceptable intrusion... if the player wanted to deal with those consequences. Forcing someone to roleplay a situation they don't like never works out well.
  • mlmiimlmii Posts: 111 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    Excellent points, the character in question wrongly believes that her psionicaly based universal translator tech renders her immune to casual telepathic contact so she isn't concerned when she discovers that her new caseworker is a low grade telepath, and the caseworker in question isn't really doing active probes per say, mostly just picking up stray thoughts and broadcast emotions.


    As for the security risks she would pose, I'd personally envision that is all the more reason to keep her under the watchful eye of the various super powered organizations that you interact with in the game, the better to make sure that she isn't setting up shop in a cave somewhere as a super villain.


    Also I'm personally head-cannoning the fact that the Campion's supercomputer already knew who she was is part of the temporal fallout from my understanding of what the Victoria Bay adventure entails... (If that wouldn't work then some future off-camera time romp would be responsible for leaving records that the computer picked up on and made the connection.)
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    The Vibora Bay Apocalypse, the Reality Storm (2004), the Secret Crisis (1985)... there have been several time- and reality-warping events in the CU timeline to justify that sort of rationalization. Again, if it works for you, it's not a problem. :smile:
  • jonsillsjonsills Posts: 6,314 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    She doesn't need to apply for asylum, though, just refugee status. After all, if her home timeline imploded, who would she need asylum from? :smile:
    "Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved? Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!"

    - David Brin, "Those Eyes"
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,092 Arc User
    edited January 2014
    Perhaps from the denizens of that timeline she fled to before reaching Champions Earth, where things "didn't work out" for her?
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